Time to let go of expectations

Time to let go of expectations


I don’t put much thought into my time-travels. Sure, when I first started, I made a list of all the time and places I had to travel to. The first trip I took was to see the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But it was mostly humid with an overwhelming stench of body odor, sewage, and unchanged spittoons. Everyone in the room looked utterly exhausted. I left after about a minute. Then I went to the parting of the Red Sea. Of course, the spreading of the waves was extraordinary, but it was hard to watch all those fish flopping around on the sea bed.

I’d rather make a quick decision, so I don’t have expectations. I did that today when I decided to time-travel to a dirt road outside the tiny town of Hannopil, Ukraine in 1743. I came upon two rabbis out for a walk. We introduced ourselves. They were brothers. Rabbi Zusha and Rabbi Elimelech. I told them I had traveled from 2018. They had no interest to know how things had changed. That’s good, because I always make that part up. A few days back I’d visited Walt Whitman and told him that in the future we all move to the Moon for a change of pace, and it’s really nice for almost a month, and then all the same problems raised their heads, so we moved back to the Earth. Whitman said he was surprised our lunar stay lasted that long.

The rabbis offered me a piece of their loaf of bread. Back then, you would consider it a boon just to have a tiny wheat cake as your food ration for the day, and find yourself giving away pieces to passersbyers so that they wouldn’t kill you for the entire loaf.  I don’t like bread. It makes my mouth go, “I really don’t want to do this.” But I took and ate it because to decline a grain product back then meant you had better food products on your person, and people would kill you for whatever that might be.

Rabbi Zusha said, “We walk down the road of life, looking forward to where we are going, but once we get there, we are no longer walking.” I said, “Ah-ha, mmmm, yes.” But I wanted to shoot myself in the head because I can’t stand philosophy. And then Rabbi Elimelech said, “We fool ourselves to think that there is a there there. We reach solemnity when we learn to drop the t.”

I stepped off to the side of the road and threw up the bread.

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